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  • Candace Austin (YogaCandi)

Use creativity to practice presence.

Hey guys, today I want to talk about the importance of being creative, and yes creativity has a close connection with being mindful and present.

Now you may think what is 'being present'? perhaps that’s a new concept for you. Well, you’re not alone because most of us don’t understand presence, never mind understanding how to put it into practice, so let’s first of all talk a little bit about what presence is.

MEANING OF BEING PRESENT: Presence is the essence of who you are because when you’re present you realise you are not your mind or your thoughts, there is an unexplained depth to your being that can only be felt in the present moment. Being present in the 'now' means your mind is not wondering, worrying or stressing about the past or future. You are in a state of acceptance, peace, and total surrender. This is the state yogis, and lots of different spiritual teachers strive for, and this state is often referred to as 'enlightenment'. A present state of mind is the route to a peaceful, content, stress and anxiety-free existence. After all it is the mind that creates stress and anxiety, which can and often leads to depression. The mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy, that’s what practicing presence and mindfulness is all about. Note the word "practice" because that’s exactly what it is - a practice. Every day I have to teach my mind not to go to dark places of self-doubt, worry, and anxiety about the past or the future. It is a 'daily' practice because the mind is very clever and will always try to find new ways of telling you something isn’t right with the present moment, that there are more important things to do, to look forward to or to worry about. But the crazy thing is the present moment is the only thing we have, it’s the only thing that actually exists, trying to fight what 'IS' - is madness! Yet most of us do it 99% of the time, it is part of the human condition but it can be changed.

Want to learn more about presence? Then I’d recommend you invest in a book called “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. He has the most profound and simple way of explaining the human condition, he really is one of the most incredible modern day spiritual teachers. His books saved my husband and I along with millions of people world wide from destructive thought patterns, through practicing presence our view of life has been transformed and the anxiety I used to suffer from has subsided. There are moments, of course, where it tries to rear its ugly head again but I now have the tools I need to deal with it, and nip it in the bud before it takes over. Creativity is just one of the tools I use to practice being in the "NOW" (in future posts we'll touch on other methods too).


This is where creativity comes in, it’s just one of the tools I use to practice being fully in the present moment, and it has nothing to do with being a good artist, musician or singer. Think back to when you were a child. What were the things you did that brought you into the present moment? The answer will probably sound something like "When I played with my dinosaurs", barbies, lego, or "when I was colouring in a colouring-in book" or painting. Why? let’s look at the definition of creativity - “the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness”. Doing something creative means accessing the imaginative or inventive side of the brain. This is something we seem to lose as we get older and as life gets more 'serious' or so our mind makes it out to be.

As a child during those moments of creativity, you would find yourself totally absorbed in the task at hand, your mind wouldn’t wonder - or - stress, over what has to be done or what happened yesterday - you and your toy or your colouring-in book would become one. Your mind was still, empty you could say, free of unnecessary noise. That is the place we need to arrive back at, it will take some practice but just like learning to drive a car, you will eventually be in overdrive of 'living in the present moment'. The more you practice, the more you will notice your mind becoming still, the cogs still turning but silently. You will notice you no longer over think every situation, you no longer feel the need to be negative about yourself, but when you notice those thoughts creeping in - AND THEY WILL - you will know all you have to do is allow them to pass, without feeding them with another destructive thought, and without judgement that once again your mind has tried to trick you out of presence.

Here are just a few idea's to help get you back into creative thinking, give one or a few of them a go, and while doing them notice how different they make you feel in the present moment.

Click on any image below to found out where to purchase them.

Adult colouring books and a mindfulness puzzle book:

Mandala stone painting:

Paint by Numbers for adults:

I hope you've enjoyed today's post guys, and I so hope it helps you on the journey to becoming more present in your everyday life. Write me a comment if you have any questions, or send me some creative idea's you've got that help you stay present. I would also love to see some of the creative work you made after reading this post, and let me know how making it made you feel in that present moment. And lastly, don't let your mind tell you that there is no time or room for creativity in your life. That's just another one of the 'tricks of the mind' to keep you busy and to keep you from living a balanced, fulfilled and happy life. Keep reminding yourself that life is not as serious as the mind makes it out to be.

Sending love, light and creative vibes. Candace


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